Gotta be quick because it’s late and we’re getting up early, but here are just a couple of the amazing sights we saw today at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in south central Idaho.
Besides the cinder cones, splatter cones, and huge lava fields, there were plenty of birds, blossoms, and butterflies.
Here’s a stunning violet-green swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) resting near its nesting sight at the edge of a lave cave.
And here’s a rock wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) on a lichen covered clump of lava.
Here’s one of several yellow-pine chipmunks (Neotamias amoenus) we saw on the lava.
Here’s some dwarf monkeyflower (Diplacus nanus) growing right out of the volcanic ash.
Finally, here’s a silver-bordered fritillary (Boloria selene) on a dwarf buckwheat (Eriogonum ovalifolium var. depressum) blossom. The butterflies were plentiful and seemed attracted to Anne’s white shirt. Most realized she was not the flower they were looking for before they landed, but not all.
I’ve gotta hit the sack now, but if you ever have the opportunity to visit this place, I hope you jump at the chance.